Dr. Joseph Wiest is founder and consultant of the program. Dr. Wiest is professor and former chairman of the Department of Physics and Engineering at Wesleyan. He has taught physics and mathematics to gifted children from third grade to high school. His wife, Dr. Jeanie Wiest, is a pediatrician. They are the parents of two gifted sons.
Dr. Katharine Antolini offers courses in American History and Gender Studies at WVWC. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan and holds a M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University. She specializes in the field of women’s history and has published articles on the role of Confederate women in the American Civil War and the history of American holidays. She is one of the featured speakers of WV Humanities Council’s 2014 Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Her talk, “Mothers of Martyrs: Woman and Civil War Commemoration,” highlights the role that women played the creation and celebration of Memorial Day, Emancipation Day and Mother’s Day in the wake of the war. Her book, Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day, is slated for publication by the West Virginia University Press in Fall 2014.
Kim Bjorgo-Thorne grew up in Florida, and came to WV in 1999 to pursue a PhD in fisheries ecology. Her undergrad degree is from University of Florida. She has worked as a research diver with the Florida Regional Reef Project and also worked for the Florida Marine Research Institute. She earned a M.S. degree from Clemson in fisheries, with a minor in statistics. In 2006, Kim completed her PhD dissertation on the spatial ecology of fish in the Kanawha River, and began teaching at WVWC in 2006 in the department of Biology and Environmental Science. Kim's childhood experiences with Florida's diverse plant and animals life were the biggest factors in her pursuing a career in environmental, especially water-related, issues. Her passion is teaching, with a focus on the remarkable resilience and innate fragility of this small island we live on: planet Earth.
Dr. Siegfried Bleher studied mathematical physics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he obtained a B.S. degree, and focused on nonlinear dynamics (chaos theory) for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Maryland in College Park. He taught physics for several years at West Virginia University before opening and running a business for many years, and has recently returned to teaching physics and mathematics at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His interests are in teaching and researching analytical and computational application of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems theory to many body systems, including plasmas and biological systems. He enjoys seeing and exploring the wide-ranging applicability of fundamental physical concepts, such as symmetries and fractals in nature.
Dr. Tracey DeLaney has her Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Wesleyan. For her research, she studies supernova remnants, which are the remains of exploded stars, i.e. star guts. Dr. DeLaney is also director of our planetarium and gives general astronomy shows to audiences of all ages.
Dr. Eric Waggoner, is co-director of the camp. He is also Associate Professor of American Literature and Cultural Studies at WVWC. His academic publications have appeared in several journals and book collections. In addition to his academic writing, for several years Dr. Waggoner has written film and music journalism for a variety of publications. He is currently a contributing writer for Magnet magazine and Blurt Online.